mob bandeau

Escapades

08

Sainte-Engrâce Church : nestling in a luxuriant amphitheatre

The village of Sainte-Engrâce surrounded by forests, mossy knolls and meadows that lend themselves to pasturing, is renowned for the Kakuetta grottos and also for its 11th-century Romanesque church, Santa Grazi.

The Navarre Abbey of Leyre founded the Romanesque church of Santa Grazi in 1085, and named it after a young Portuguese nobleman who took refuge here from persecution.
The Abbey became a major stopping point on the Saint Jacques Way because of its pilgrims' hospital. The listed 11th-century church, the only survivor of its prosperous era, displays a wealth of rare architecture, and is a pure exponent of Romanesque art. Beside it lies the cemetery studded with discoid steles that testify to the mysterious past.

A splendid amphitheatre is formed by nature and the mountains as far as the eye can see, where the 210 inhabitants of Sainte-Engrâce perpetuate their peaceful lifestyle, geared to farming (sheep, cattle and horses), producing local gourmet products (traditional local cheeses) and tourism.
 

11

La Verna Cavern : underground exploration

The cavern of La Verna is world renowned for its outsize dimensions. Advance booking is essential if you want to visit it.

La Verna is a geological site like no other that enjoys a worldwide reputation. It is part of la Pierre St Martin abyss that is extremely popular with serious cavers, and is to be found in the heart of the limestone Haute-Soule and Barétous Mountains just a short distance from the Kakuetta Gorges.

Come and discover one of the world's ten biggest underground chambers: 245 metres in diameter and 194 metres high (it could accommodate six Notre-Dame de Paris cathedrals).

The extraordinary human adventure that led to La Verna's discovery will be explained in the guided tour that takes an 800 metre-long secure pathway to the cavern that is accessible to mobility-impaired visitors (the site has the French "Tourism and Handicap" label).

You will be given a hard hat to wear and offered an audio-guide.

As the temperature underground is 6°, make sure you are wearing warm clothing and closed shoes.

This tourist site welcomes individuals, groups and school parties all year round provided they book in advance. 

10

Festivals and traditions in the Basque Country

Singing, dancing, tasting, meeting, discovering Basque culture, are just some of the festivities and traditions that are celebrated around Sainte-Engrâce.

Markets
Tardets : every Monday in July and August (for evening markets contact the Tourist Office on +33 (0)5 59 28 51 28)
Mauléon : on Tuesdays and Saturdays (for evening markets contact the Tourist Office on +33 (0)5 59 28 02 37)

July

  • 02, 03, 07, 09, 10, 14, 16, 17, July, L'Hôpital-Saint-Blaise: son-et-lumière show (for other dates in July and August, contact the Tourist Office on +33 (0)5 59 28 02 37)
  • In July, Mauléon (2.0-3.30 pm, place des Allées): initiation sessions - Basque pelota (contact the Tourist Office +33 (0)5 59 28 02 37)
  • 13 July, la Pierre Saint-Martin mountain pass: annual Junta of Roncal celebrations
  • 14 July, la Pierre Saint-Martin: Tour de France arrives.
  • 6-14 July, Pamplona (Spain): Pamplona festival
  • Around 14 July, Mauléon: Mauléon celebrates its fête for four days
  • Last weekend of July and 1st weekend of August, Sauguis: the Pastorale pageant
 

12August

  • August, Mauléon: Cesta Punta Masters' Tournament of Mauléon
  • 9-16 August, Final of the French Basque Pelota championship: hosted in a different village every day (contact the Tourist Office on +33 (0)5 59 28 51 28)
  • 14 August, Garindein: Kantaldi - 44th Basque Song Festival
  • 15 August, Mauléon: espadrille, Basque Games and Dance Festival
  • 15 August, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port: Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port fête
  • 15 August, Tardets: 93rd Grande Semaine of Basque pelota
  • 1st Sunday after 15 August, Saint-Palais: Basque Games Festival
  • Mid- to end of August, Larrau: Betzula Trophy, bare-handed indoor pelota
  • 20 August, Tardets: Cheese fair
  • 21, 22, 23 August, Tardets: village fête
  • August, Mauléon (2.00-3.30 pm, place des Allées): initiation sessions - Basque pelota (contact the Tourist Office on +33 (0)5 59 28 02 37)

September

  • 4, 5, 6 September: Rallye des Cimes all-terrain rally
  • 17-20 September, Aramits: Transhumance festival with sheepdog trials



Escapades

08

Sainte-Engrâce Church : nestling in a luxuriant amphitheatre

The village of Sainte-Engrâce surrounded by forests, mossy knolls and meadows that lend themselves to pasturing, is renowned for the Kakuetta grottos and also for its 11th-century Romanesque church, Santa Grazi.

The Navarre Abbey of Leyre founded the Romanesque church of Santa Grazi in 1085, and named it after a young Portuguese nobleman who took refuge here from persecution.
The Abbey became a major stopping point on the Saint Jacques Way because of its pilgrims' hospital. The listed 11th-century church, the only survivor of its prosperous era, displays a wealth of rare architecture, and is a pure exponent of Romanesque art. Beside it lies the cemetery studded with discoid steles that testify to the mysterious past.

A splendid amphitheatre is formed by nature and the mountains as far as the eye can see, where the 210 inhabitants of Sainte-Engrâce perpetuate their peaceful lifestyle, geared to farming (sheep, cattle and horses), producing local gourmet products (traditional local cheeses) and tourism.
 

11

La Verna Cavern : underground exploration

The cavern of La Verna is world renowned for its outsize dimensions. Advance booking is essential if you want to visit it.

La Verna is a geological site like no other that enjoys a worldwide reputation. It is part of la Pierre St Martin abyss that is extremely popular with serious cavers, and is to be found in the heart of the limestone Haute-Soule and Barétous Mountains just a short distance from the Kakuetta Gorges.

Come and discover one of the world's ten biggest underground chambers: 245 metres in diameter and 194 metres high (it could accommodate six Notre-Dame de Paris cathedrals).

The extraordinary human adventure that led to La Verna's discovery will be explained in the guided tour that takes an 800 metre-long secure pathway to the cavern that is accessible to mobility-impaired visitors (the site has the French "Tourism and Handicap" label).

You will be given a hard hat to wear and offered an audio-guide.

As the temperature underground is 6°, make sure you are wearing warm clothing and closed shoes.

This tourist site welcomes individuals, groups and school parties all year round provided they book in advance. 

10

Festivals and traditions in the Basque Country

Singing, dancing, tasting, meeting, discovering Basque culture, are just some of the festivities and traditions that are celebrated around Sainte-Engrâce.

Markets
Tardets : every Monday in July and August (for evening markets contact the Tourist Office on +33 (0)5 59 28 51 28)
Mauléon : on Tuesdays and Saturdays (for evening markets contact the Tourist Office on +33 (0)5 59 28 02 37)

July

  • 02, 03, 07, 09, 10, 14, 16, 17, July, L'Hôpital-Saint-Blaise: son-et-lumière show (for other dates in July and August, contact the Tourist Office on +33 (0)5 59 28 02 37)
  • In July, Mauléon (2.0-3.30 pm, place des Allées): initiation sessions - Basque pelota (contact the Tourist Office +33 (0)5 59 28 02 37)
  • 13 July, la Pierre Saint-Martin mountain pass: annual Junta of Roncal celebrations
  • 14 July, la Pierre Saint-Martin: Tour de France arrives.
  • 6-14 July, Pamplona (Spain): Pamplona festival
  • Around 14 July, Mauléon: Mauléon celebrates its fête for four days
  • Last weekend of July and 1st weekend of August, Sauguis: the Pastorale pageant
 

12August

  • August, Mauléon: Cesta Punta Masters' Tournament of Mauléon
  • 9-16 August, Final of the French Basque Pelota championship: hosted in a different village every day (contact the Tourist Office on +33 (0)5 59 28 51 28)
  • 14 August, Garindein: Kantaldi - 44th Basque Song Festival
  • 15 August, Mauléon: espadrille, Basque Games and Dance Festival
  • 15 August, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port: Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port fête
  • 15 August, Tardets: 93rd Grande Semaine of Basque pelota
  • 1st Sunday after 15 August, Saint-Palais: Basque Games Festival
  • Mid- to end of August, Larrau: Betzula Trophy, bare-handed indoor pelota
  • 20 August, Tardets: Cheese fair
  • 21, 22, 23 August, Tardets: village fête
  • August, Mauléon (2.00-3.30 pm, place des Allées): initiation sessions - Basque pelota (contact the Tourist Office on +33 (0)5 59 28 02 37)

September

  • 4, 5, 6 September: Rallye des Cimes all-terrain rally
  • 17-20 September, Aramits: Transhumance festival with sheepdog trials



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